Nora Mc Donald

Canteen, CHI at Temple Street

I get up very early at 4:30am and start getting ready for work. I get collected at 5am and dropped to Temple Street and luckily there is no traffic at that hour, so I fly in.

As soon as I get into the canteen at Temple Street, I begin preparing breakfast for the busy day ahead. It is a good time to get everything organised and quickly catch up with everyone who works in the canteen.

Each day has a certain routine to it, but at the same time each day can be different. I also work doing functions or special events like Christmas dinner for staff. This is the busiest day of the year and can take a whole week to prepare. We do the full turkey and ham with pudding and it is available for all staff and parents and families free of charge. It’s a great atmosphere and management also take part to help out in the canteen.

I like everything about my job. I have a great manager, Marie, here who is very supportive to her staff. We also have a great catering team and work well with the other staff in the kitchen.

It can be very challenging when a child passes away. I usually offer tea and toast and bring it to the grieving parents. It can be very sad, but all the canteen staff want to be there for parents and help in any way that we can.

My proudest achievement since joining Temple Street was when I represented the hospital and gave a talk about my job on International Women’s Day 2018 to a group from the HSE and when I finished I received a standing ovation. It was a very unique and memorable moment for me.

I am motivated by doing the best job I can and not let the team down in the canteen. It can also be really nice when me or a member of the team gets a nice compliment from a member of the public. It’s a bit of a reminder that sometimes something as small as making a parent a cup of coffee can make a little difference.

I think it would be fair to say that all of the staff in Temple Street wherever they may work will always show compassion and support to an upset parent or child.

In order to relax and unwind, I like to walk in the evening with my son and my Huskey dog, Bruno. I also really enjoy sitting and talking to my family with a nice cup of tea.

The girls that I work with often make me laugh. We are a great team and it can be really fun at times. Our ‘Break Room’ is also a real ‘treasure’ in Temple Street, just to visit and catch my breath.